Daylong Walking Tour of Old Dhaka
$63 per person
The daylong Old Dhaka walking tour walks through the mysterious heritage and the streets that are not yet mentioned in any travel guide, and an individual will not find those secrets by themselves. Puran Dhaka (Old Dhaka) is dirty, messy, and crowded, but that is part of its charm. Colourful rickshaws abound at every corner, and kids play cricket wherever they can. Mosques call for prayer, and shingara merchants often offer tourists free shingara or puri.
Probably the world considers today’s Dhaka as a most chaotic and densely populated city; maybe the density is her strength, and chaos is the rhythm of life. Dhaka has an exciting history and rich cultural heritage and has a name for its exotic culinary and cuisine.
In the early 17th Century, Dhaka became the Mughal capital of Bengal. These walking excursions feature Mughal caravansaries, palaces, and bazaars. Many Hindu and Armenian businessmen became wealthy and built colonial homes along the Buriganga River. Dhaka was one of the major and important cities on the Indian subcontinent.
Couldn’t stand for that long. Dhaka’s population and power dropped after the British took over Bengal in the mid-18th Century, whereas Calcutta thrived. In 1824, a visiting Anglican bishop from Calcutta named Dhaka a city of “magnificent ruins.”
After India and Pakistan split in 1947, most Hindu merchants fled, leaving their homes and properties behind. And the wealthy Armenian community of 300 families died or left. This tour walks inside the courtyards of beautiful old merchant residences to meet the families living there. Bright saris hang on elegant, rusted fences. Kids play hopscotch in front of chipped colonnades. An 18th-century Armenian church and a 1600 Christian cemetery are two peaceful havens in Puran Dhaka. The tour includes a short break for Bangladesh’s wonderfully sweet tea and lunch at a local eatery.
One of our tours takes the group through the 400-year-old Chawkbazaar, a tangle of street market stalls selling everything from electronics to sweets. The Barakatra used to be the tallest building in Dhaka. It had 22 shops and was a well-known grand inn for merchants who came to the city in the 17th Century. Only approximately half of the Mughal buildings are still standing, and even a public toilet has been cut into a building.
You can still stand at one of the two remaining gateways and imagine trading caravans passing through the area.
Tours stop at Buriganga River, “Dhaka’s beating heart.” On one of our tours, we take you to a rooftop overlooking the river to witness little wooden boats ferrying people and goods.
We aim to take the challenge of restoring Dhaka’s heritage buildings and attracting local and overseas tourists. Dhaka’s population has grown from 6.5 million in 1990 to 18 million in 2022, with many living in slums. The city’s overcrowded infrastructure needs upgrading. More than 20% of the city’s boxy, concrete buildings would collapse if a magnitude 7 earthquake hit.
A daylong walk of Old Dhaka is not enough to learn all its maze and charisma. One can spend a couple of days walking through the different streets, taking pictures, meeting super friendly people, exploring local craftsmanship and recycling industries, and experiencing the authentic culture and delicious foods. We try to skip museum visits on this trip to stay focused on daily life activities on the streets and cultural engagements.
- Basic Plan
Per-person trip price starts from
- 1 PAX – $143
- 2 PAX – $89
- 4 PAX – $75
- 6+ PAX – $63
DepartureYour hotel/ residence (anywhere in Dhaka city)
Departure Time8:00 AM
Return TimeApproximately 6:00 PM or later; depending on your interests and the traffic situation
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable athletic clothing, closed shoes, hat. Warm jacket during the winter (November to February). Raincoat/ umbrella during the rainy season (May to August). Full sleeves are always necessary while visiting any religious place, mosque, temple, church or a trip during Ramadan.
IncludedAC vehicle with experienced chauffeur for sightseeing and transfersAll entrance fees and local permitsAll Museum TicketsAll rickshaw/ cycle / boat / local transportsBottled water, soft drinks and seasonal fruits during the sightseeingExpert English-Speaking GuideLunchTrip as per itineraryTypical Souvenir
Not IncludedAccommodation in twin sharing basis as per itineraryAll air, bus, train and launch tickets as per itineraryAny activity not mentioned in the itinerary.DinnerGratuitiesLocal guide/ escort/ experts/ academicsPersonal expenses
Susanne H | Stockholm, Sweden
Experienced help in discovering Dacca
Jan 2016 • Friends
Jewl of Royal Bengali Tours is the best company one can wish for when discovering both the visible scenes and whats behind when in Dacca. He goes out of his way to show and tell you about the city he knows very well in good english and guides you in a very friendly way. I have never before seen someone who can stop trafic with soft touches and who makes sure that no time is wasted to make the most of your visit even if you only have one day!
Do try to get him as a guide, I am sure you will be as pleased as me!
ellipirelli2016 | Frankfurt, Germany
A wonderful day tour through Dhaka
Jun 2016 • Solo
I booked just one day trip with Royal Begal Tours since I was otherwise traveling with a friend and a local family. This day trip exceeded my expectations by far, especially because of the very knowledgable and nice guide. Jewel showed me diverse sightseeing spots as well as museums and led me well through the narrow and crowded streets of old Dhaka. We also went to the port where many ships waited for the departure bringing everybody out of town to visit their families outside of the city for the Eid (end of Ramadan). Jewel was always tried to get the best spot to view, e.g. asking people whether we could go to the top of the boat pointing at me as a reason. Worked well. The tour in general is very customized and you can say what you want to see, also during the tour. Jewel bought me mangos to take home, guided us to a Hindi restaurant which was open during Ramadan (hidden behind a curtain) and actually served very good curries. After lunch he showed me nice parks where we could take a stroll and discuss Bengal history and politics. Needless to say that Jewel´s English is very good. Total raring: 5-star-day-tour.
Great tour guide for your visit in Bangladesh or Dhaka.
Jan 2017 • Solo
Mister Jewel is you young entrepreneur, who showed me the real Dhaka. I only booked him for 1 day as I did not have more time. He showed me around on te back of his motorbike, but this was of course my choice, you can also go around in a car.
We where very mobile and Mr. Jewel showed me the real life of Dhaka. I got a very good impression of the city and it’s people. Very very friendly people everywhere we went. I am a hobby photographer and because of Jewel I got some interesting shots of the harbor, the rickshaw people, and other areas of interest. He made my tour a custom designed tour to my liking. All in all, I can highly recommend his company and his expertise. Alone I would not have been able to see what he showed me.
Besides all that he is a very nice and intelligent person with a broad view of life.
Thank you Jewel.
Excellent tour of Old Dhaka
Apr 2017 • Solo
Started our tour at Dhaka University and walked around Bongshal residential area. Took a very exciting rickshaw ride around Tati bazaar and Shakhari bazaar. Went to Sadarghat river port and took a boat around the port. Jewel was an amazing guide. He made me feel comfortable and relaxed. He is very knowledgeable about Dhaka and enjoys showing you all the cool spots. I absolutely recommend Jewel. Can’t wait to go back and explore with him.
indiaviktor Oslo, Norway
Oct 2018 • Solo
I had such an amazing day tour in Dhaka arranged by Jewel who really went above and beyond to make sure my day would be most memorable. Jewel knows Dhaka like the back of his hand and knows all the interesting places and people that you would never find on your own. I can’t think of any better way to explore Dhaka than to do it in the company of Jewel.
Wonderful visit to the Old Dhaka
We have had a great day with our guide Jewel who showed us the main sights in Old Dhaka. One can see immediately that he is someone who likes his job and does it with great pleasure and an even better sense of humor. Among other things, we have had a chance to visit the local marketplace, campus of the University of Dhaka, Hindu Street as well as the boat terminals on the Buriganga river. We were also given a chance to try some of the specialties from the local street vendors (Bengali black tea with ginger and fennel seeds is a must have!). I would warmly recommend this tour to all visitors in Dhaka.
Dhaka city tour
Mar 2019 • Friends
I met Jewel through friends of his. He showed us many different parts of Dhaka including Old Dhaka. He is a kind and generous person, as are all the people we met on this great trip. He knows the right places to grab an amazing cup of tea with delicious bread, as well as lunch. I can definitely recommend Jewel as a tour guide and I am looking forward to seeing him again!
Meaghan E | Washington DC, District of Columbia
First time in Dhaka
I booked the Old Dhaka tour last minute, as I was concluding my business trip and didn’t have a lot of other time to see the city. As a solo female traveller, I was hesitant at first and not sure of what to expect. My tour guide and driver were very kind and professional, and I greatly enjoyed their company. The tour guide was a young university student, who spoke very good English and was very knowledgeable and eager to share his city. I don’t recall the names of all the places we visited, but we went to the bustling market in the morning, walked around the university campus, visited the new market and watched artists sew and stamp fabrics, stopped for lunch and tasted different mashed vegetable dishes, and in the afternoon visited some historic sites: the pink buildings in a garden, the pink palace, the Armenian church, a Hindu temple, a mosque, and we also visited the riverfront and walked around one of the big ferries. I decided not to go on a riverboat ride, but we did ride a few rickshaws which were quite fun actually, despite the hectic traffic and the absolutely crazy city streets. Thank you very much for an interesting cultural experience! And a big thank you to my guide. It was a pleasure to talk to a friendly local, and learn more about the culture of Dhaka.
Amazing Tour of Old Dhaka!!!
Jewel was an amazing tour guide, he took you to all the local places and gave such a rich history of Dhaka. I learned so much and saw everything on my bucket list! He was kind and funny, we had an amazing time. The all day tour of Old Dhaka is very recommended with Jewel!!!
CubaTraveler1 | Boston, Massachusetts
Amazing Experience in Old Dhaka
Jewel’s knowledge of Old Dhaka is extensive. He brought us to so many “hidden gems” that we never would have discovered on our own. Our group was a mix of Dhaka natives and Western visitors – all enjoyed the tour and learned a lot. Jewel’s photography is also an added bonus, he took many pictures, including of us, which he sent after the tour, he has a great eye! Highly recommend.
SassiAssi | Bremen, Germany
Brilliant Day Trip – extremely happy with everything
I have done a first trip with them couple of months ago. Was extremely happy. So I did another trip to Sonargaon with them for a day. Was very well organized, super kind and relaxed guide. Would absolutely recommend Royal Bengal Tours to anyone. Will not be my last trip.
lebasi89 | Brussels, Belgium
An absolutely fascinating tour through Old Dhaka
It was a pleasure to roam Dhaka with Jewel. We were around for more than 6h: the old market, university, around and on the river and many more. Jewel was extremely knowledgeable and it was absolutely fascinating to discuss country and people with him. I learned so much and I would advice it to everyone who seta foot in Dhaka to take a tour with him. I hope we’ll meet again soon!!